Yaroslava LAGAN, senior associate, attorney ADER HABER
Before the full-scale war began the availability of the equipped shelter to get safe from air (аnd not only air) raids in the house or near it was not a decisive issue while choosing a new home for many Ukrainians. So in the morning of February 24th, a lot of us went down under the sounds of air-raid sirens in spaces that were sometimes not adapted for it at all. Currently in Ukraine are talking of immediate shelter network deployment all around the state, both in existing and new buildings.
What we call shelters, The legislation uses the formal term “protective buildings of civil defense” to name what we call shelters in everyday life. This “umbrella term” includes:
Dual-use buildings can also be used as shelters. In peacetime they serve for their main functional purpose, and in wartime they are used to shelter people. For example, underground passages between metro stations, parking lots, tunnels, etc.
Besides that, you can also hide from the threat in the so-called simplest shelters (these will allow you to temporarily hide from the effects of dangerous factors). The simplest shelters include the basements, already familiar to us, ground floors of high-rise buildings, and other underground rooms.
We often try to create at least minimum comfort in the shelters available to us by using improvised means.
But at the same time, the current legislation of Ukraine already contains a lot of detailed requirements for protective buildings, which are aimed at comfortable and, most importantly, safe movement of people and staying inside. Such requirements include, for example:
This is far from a complete list – the legislation of Ukraine on civil defense issues even before the full scale russian military aggression have started regulated almost all the nuances of maintaining shelters in the condition necessary for their effective use in case of danger.
But not all balance holders of protective buildings have properly maintained them in usable condition.
But today, the entire country lives in the new realitiy of constant air raids, so the requirements for shelters are also changing in response to the challenges of time.
The vast majority of existing shelters in Ukraine belong to the category of the simplest (these are basements of high-rise buildings and private houses, industrial buildings, ground floors). Such shelters do not fully meet the needs of protecting the civilians from the dangers of a full-scale war (some of them are not equipped with such basic things as, for example, water supply and drainage).
Therefore currently the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is considering the Draft Law on deployment of the shelter system.
The legislators propose to make a section on civil defense engineering and technical measures obligatory for urban planning documentation at the regional and local level. Without this section, urban planning documentation simply will not be approved. This section is the main document, which provides for the construction solutions aimed to protect people from the dangers during military operations (including the construction of shelters).
Planning documentation for the construction of buildings with medium (СС2) and significant (СС3) classes of consequences (which the majority of multi-apartment buildings belongs to) will also necessarily contain such a section, and the provided solutions regarding shelters must make these shelters accessible to for disabled persons and people with limited mobility.
Besides that, the legislators propose to regulate the proper maintenance of shelters, and provide that:
It is expected that such solutions will ensure the deployment of the shelter network in Ukraine, which will be not only safe, but also comfortable and accessible, equipped with everything necessary for the stay of large groups of people. As life has shown, this cannot be neglected.